Polar mesospheric cloud modeling and Seasonal forecasts with satellite data

Author: James Martin Griffin, Ryan B. Aschbrenner and Hilary E. "Ned" Snell
Date: 
July 6, 2008 - July 11, 2008
Type: 
Report
Venue: 
IEEE International Geoscience & Remote Sensing Symposium
Citation: 

Aschbrenner, R., J. Griffin, H.E. Snell: Polar mesospheric cloud modeling and Seasonal
forecasts with satellite data. IEEE International Geoscience & Remote Sensing
Symposium, Boston, MA, 6-11 Jul 2008.
 

Polar mesospheric clouds (PMC) are thin ice clouds that form near the mesopause (at 80-85 km altitude) during summer months
at both poles. This atmospheric region is dynamically driven to temperatures persistently below 150 K for much of the summer
season. Additionally, dynamical and photochemical processes are responsible for producing a local water vapor maximum. The
low temperature and available moisture, when combined with the presence of cosmic dust, provide for a supersaturated zone
hospitable to the nucleation and sustained development of icy particles. Past studies have indicated that the ice persists at polar
latitudes for much of the midsummer [1]. Furthermore, both ground and space-based observations have indicated an increasing
PMC frequency of occurrence and more common extensions of PMC beyond the polar regions [2], and long-term observations
by ultraviolet sensors have indicated an increased PMC brightness over recent decades [3]. This trend is a proposed indicator
of global climate change, linked in part to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane [4].